A new production method for flash memory could make it possible for devices to hold more memory and use less power - potentially paving the way for a flash replacement on laptop hard drives, according to a recent article on Technology Review.
Wouldn't that be nifty?
So far, flash memory has been able to keep up with Moore's Law, with the number of transistors on a chip doubling every two years. The problem is, the individual memory cells on flash chips are only shrinking in one direction - which leads to interference and instability, according to Technology Review.
A new manufacturing method, pioneered by Nanosys, a California startup, would fix this problem by adding self-assembled metal nanocrystals. While it's been possible to create nanocrystals for some time, this is the first time anyone has worked out how to mass manufacture nanocrystal flash.
Nanosys already has deals with Intel and Micron Technologies, meaning flash with metal nanocrystals could appear as soon as 2009. Perhaps that's why Micron so confidently predicted that it would be only a "matter of time" before solid-state flash-memory drives would be used as an alternative to disk drives in the data center?